Based on other questions submited, it looks like I might be able to change the inputs.conf file but need to make sure.
what I want to do is limit the data pulled in on 'top' & 'ps'. I want to add " | HEAD 20". If I'm reading this right, I can add that command on the line following 'source = top' as I have below. is this correct? Is there a better way to accomplish this? any pointers would be appreciated.
interval = 60
sourcetype = top
| head 20 (<==== new entry)
source = top
index = os
disabled = 1
What you're altering there isn't a search, it's an input stanza. So that syntax isn't going to do anything functional. If you want to modify what those scripts output, you'll need to go into $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/unix/bin/ and then modify the relevant script.
As to what to change in the script to accomplish what you want, that depends on the platform. You're working with shell scripts there, not Splunk specific language.